Yes Sandra Bullock got an Oscar for this and more often than not, the film is not worth the award season hype. I mean, I really liked Crazy Heart and Jeff Bridges performance was also Oscar worthy but Blind Side…..Blind Side deserves every accolade going and a few more I’m going to give it right now.
From the minute it started, I felt weepy. Not because of any particular emotional moment, just the whole set up of the film, before even the credits commenced, I got the distinct sense I was about to witness something extraordinary. And that feeling stayed with me right till the end, right to the final credits as I waited to see who sang the exit song. It was Tim McGraw.
Yes I know that name as the country singer too; I had no idea he was acting, never mind in an Oscar worthy film. For Ms Bullock, this is the final proof that the queen of good comedy and the rare good RomCom (ooohh, I still don’t like using that moniker) can do serious. With the actions of the Speed films, I think she’s got all the main genres covered. Is she the new Julia Roberts, even thought the old Julia Roberts was only just before her?
Back to the film, a beautifully produced feel-good piece soaked in quality from the southern accents, to the gun toting republican characters that we’re actually fond off to the brilliant one liners and not to mention the wonderful acting throughout, and I mean throughout – there was not one below par performance.
I was right there, standing on the touch line, at the dining table and at work along side, Leigh Anne, Bullocks no-nonsense, driven, fast talking loving wife and mother of two.
Leigh Anne and her family individually become aware of Michael Oher, a big and tall black dude from the ‘projects’ seemingly with no family or fixed abode. A well meaning friend has got him enlisted in a Christian school, even though he has been a runaway on/off D student his whole life, having been born to a crack addict mother and the obligatory absent father.
Leigh Anne and family take him under their wing, support and nurture him into the school football team where his success is ensured given that no player can get past his defensive frame. The film is based on a true story and given that it’s a feel-good, you know it has a good ending but not before one or two near misses where it can all go oh so wrong.
The look in both Michael (Quinton Aaron) and Leigh Anne’s eyes throughout was a mix of sadness and hope and those glances, along with some very beautiful moments, had me fixated on the screen. They even had my most oft used quote, ‘Do it because it’s the right thing to do’ at the start of the film when the sports coach was convincing his colleagues to submit Michael to the school despite his absentee reputation.
The amusing one-liners kept me laughing; ‘An extra t-shirt in a plastic bag does not a wardrobe make’ when questioning where Michael of no fixed abode keeps the rest of his clothes and ‘Who’d have thought we’d have a black son before we knew a democrat’ which you have to see in context. Superb.
Whenever I felt teary, I smiled instead as the film takes you just close enough to Michael’s sad start in life before bringing you back to the chance he is now being given. The movie is just so warming, so human.
Despite Invictus provoking similar feelings of joy and sadness within me, this is something real, happening in downtown areas across parts of American neighbourhoods divided distinctly into rich and poor, black and white. Nelson Mandela in Invictus by comparison, was, eventually, the President of South Africa empowered to do good.
For the second time this year, is it too early to say movie of the year?
8½/10 (that score may go up, it’s too early in the year for a 9)
Smile factor 10/10 even the sad bits gave me warm sensation